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Expert with best answer

Allen

100% Recommendation Rate

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804 Q&A Upvotes

USD 259 / Coaching

7

I have a call w/BCG Partner (college alum - cold email)

Obviously, I am hoping to get a referral out of it. For context, I had applied before, didn't make it and currently in the 12-18 month block period. How should i approach that during the conversation (if it comes up)? If it doesn't make its way into conveersation and he finds out trhough HR, does that kill my chances ?

Any advice on this is appreciated.

Obviously, I am hoping to get a referral out of it. For context, I had applied before, didn't make it and currently in the 12-18 month block period. How should i approach that during the conversation (if it comes up)? If it doesn't make its way into conveersation and he finds out trhough HR, does that kill my chances ?

Any advice on this is appreciated.

7 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Allen

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Hi there!

Tricky situation. If the contact is warm, meaning that they're likely to refer you, I would be 100% up front and ask!

If not, which is more likely, I would ask them for insight and advice, while demonstrating that you are knowledgable and a compelling candidate. Try to get a clear recommendatoin of what to do. For example, "If you were able to demonstrate XYZ, you'd be a very compelling candidate." Then, after a period of time, show them that you listened to their advice. Now, they should be happy to refer you...

Under all circumstances, don't hide the fact that you were already turned down. When I was at McKinsey, I had more than one occasion where I spoke to recruiting about someone that reached out to me only to have recruiting tell me they were already rejected. Really was not impressed that this person tried to trick me into referring them and hope that they system would not catch this. I learned to ask about this afterward. Again, not impressed.

Helps?

Hi there!

Tricky situation. If the contact is warm, meaning that they're likely to refer you, I would be 100% up front and ask!

If not, which is more likely, I would ask them for insight and advice, while demonstrating that you are knowledgable and a compelling candidate. Try to get a clear recommendatoin of what to do. For example, "If you were able to demonstrate XYZ, you'd be a very compelling candidate." Then, after a period of time, show them that you listened to their advice. Now, they should be happy to refer you...

Under all circumstances, don't hide the fact that you were already turned down. When I was at McKinsey, I had more than one occasion where I spoke to recruiting about someone that reached out to me only to have recruiting tell me they were already rejected. Really was not impressed that this person tried to trick me into referring them and hope that they system would not catch this. I learned to ask about this afterward. Again, not impressed.

Helps?

Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

If you are in 12-18 period and your freeze was 18 months, I don't that Partner's referral will help you. The only exception is when you are an experienced hire with unique skills talking to the partner from the relevant practice.

In any case, you should tell your current status upfront and don't make any expectations out of it

Best

Hi,

If you are in 12-18 period and your freeze was 18 months, I don't that Partner's referral will help you. The only exception is when you are an experienced hire with unique skills talking to the partner from the relevant practice.

In any case, you should tell your current status upfront and don't make any expectations out of it

Best

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

So, you can "Hint" at a referral. What I mean is, you can say "Thanks so much for your time. You've definitely confirmed for me that this is a great place to work and I'll be planning to apply in the coming weeks. Are there any tips or pieces of advice you have for me?"

^This is the closest you can get to asking for a referral.

You also have a "Second chance", whereby you can send the Partner an email a few days before applying. Essentially let them know you are applying in the coming days, thank them again for the time.

In terms of how to conduct yourself during the call...

Ask For Yourself

While a coffee chat is a way for you to make a good impression, please remember that it's also about you making sure this job + path are right for you!

To prepare, think about things you'd like to learn about the company. Ask about your person's experience at the firm, where they've come from, if they have any advice for you etc. Be inquisitive and interested in what they have to say, and feel free to ask thoughtful follow-up questions.

Have Your Pitch Ready

In terms of what they'll ask you, make sure you have your 30 second pitch prepared! Who are you in a nutshell and why are you interested in BCG and strategy consulting?

Ask About Them

People love to talk about themselves. Just ask them what they've worked on recently or what their journey at BCG has been like. Importantly, do your research beforehand - find out what they've done and try and pick something from their past that looks interesting to you. Tailor your questions just like they tailor their FIT questions to your resume.

"So, how did you end up in the Industrial Goods sector?" "I saw you worked on a big digital transformation for a financial services company - I experienced one myself and it seemed so hard to move such a big organisation. What did you see as the major challenges and breakthrough moments?"

Ask insightful questions

Ideally, your questions should also show them that you're insightful, inquisitive, bright, thinking about current topics, etc. For example:

"I saw you worked on a big digital transformation for a financial services company - I experienced one myself and it seemed so hard to move such a big organisation. What did you see as the major challenges and breakthrough moments?"

"I know that x big trend is happening. I also know that y types of companies exhibit z traits. How do you reconcile this difference when ensuring y companies adopt x trends?

Hi there,

So, you can "Hint" at a referral. What I mean is, you can say "Thanks so much for your time. You've definitely confirmed for me that this is a great place to work and I'll be planning to apply in the coming weeks. Are there any tips or pieces of advice you have for me?"

^This is the closest you can get to asking for a referral.

You also have a "Second chance", whereby you can send the Partner an email a few days before applying. Essentially let them know you are applying in the coming days, thank them again for the time.

In terms of how to conduct yourself during the call...

Ask For Yourself

While a coffee chat is a way for you to make a good impression, please remember that it's also about you making sure this job + path are right for you!

To prepare, think about things you'd like to learn about the company. Ask about your person's experience at the firm, where they've come from, if they have any advice for you etc. Be inquisitive and interested in what they have to say, and feel free to ask thoughtful follow-up questions.

Have Your Pitch Ready

In terms of what they'll ask you, make sure you have your 30 second pitch prepared! Who are you in a nutshell and why are you interested in BCG and strategy consulting?

Ask About Them

People love to talk about themselves. Just ask them what they've worked on recently or what their journey at BCG has been like. Importantly, do your research beforehand - find out what they've done and try and pick something from their past that looks interesting to you. Tailor your questions just like they tailor their FIT questions to your resume.

"So, how did you end up in the Industrial Goods sector?" "I saw you worked on a big digital transformation for a financial services company - I experienced one myself and it seemed so hard to move such a big organisation. What did you see as the major challenges and breakthrough moments?"

Ask insightful questions

Ideally, your questions should also show them that you're insightful, inquisitive, bright, thinking about current topics, etc. For example:

"I saw you worked on a big digital transformation for a financial services company - I experienced one myself and it seemed so hard to move such a big organisation. What did you see as the major challenges and breakthrough moments?"

"I know that x big trend is happening. I also know that y types of companies exhibit z traits. How do you reconcile this difference when ensuring y companies adopt x trends?

(edited)

Book a coaching with Antonello

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Hi, I would prepare some personal questions related to his career to better engage him. Linkedin will help

Best

Antonello

Hi, I would prepare some personal questions related to his career to better engage him. Linkedin will help

Best

Antonello

Book a coaching with Iman

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Hi,

I would actually be upfront about the situation, explain the feedback that you received and as for inputs how to make your candidacy stronger.

Best,
Iman

Hi,

I would actually be upfront about the situation, explain the feedback that you received and as for inputs how to make your candidacy stronger.

Best,
Iman

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hi there!

The only way out here is telling the truth directly, but try to choose the right time and way, it shouldn't come up in the end of the conversation. Anyway you cannot apply earlier than the block period is over.

If you don't succeed in getting the referral, it's a good idea to get a coach to discuss your situation and upgrade your profile.

Do you need any help with that?

GB

Hi there!

The only way out here is telling the truth directly, but try to choose the right time and way, it shouldn't come up in the end of the conversation. Anyway you cannot apply earlier than the block period is over.

If you don't succeed in getting the referral, it's a good idea to get a coach to discuss your situation and upgrade your profile.

Do you need any help with that?

GB

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